Summary: Hwoarang begins to discover the power he's been given and makes plans to escape the hospital with Yon's help.
Feedback: Comments are welcome; constructive or positive. Flames are nice too because they make for something to laugh at and keep my feet toasty.
Special Thanks: To my beta Kat for betaing everything I send her, and listening to me talk her ear off about this thing.
Disclaimer: The characters found here *do not* belong to me. The story itself *does* belong to me. I am making no profit from this endeavour.
Notes: I've woken myself from dreams many times by trying to give answers and speak. It's damned annoying (although not as bad as fighting in my sleep XD )
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details and chapter links.
Her voice was almost heavenly, yet stern and commanding. He couldn’t feel anything except empty blackness and her voice echoing within his head.
“Hwoarang, you must focus… listen to my voice, Hwoarang… Hwoarang? Focus on the light within and heal yourself.”
“…?” Hwoarang struggled to speak, but the effort was too great.
“Just do it!”
“H-how!” he uttered, his own voice waking him from the dream. “How?” but the voice stayed silent. He shut his eyes; he had the distinct impression that whatever it was saying was important. ‘Focus? Focus on what?’ He stretched his arms out from his body and winced, his ribs still hurt. Well, that was to be expected. He felt so stiff lying there, he needed to get up and move!
Hwoarang had been stuck in the same hospital room for the past week. Well, three weeks total, although two of them were spent in a coma; the past week he’d been conscious so he could go crazy with nothing to do. His nurse that came once a day (he’d counted) never said more to him than was necessary. She wasn’t interested in knowing him, and he didn’t care much for her, but after a while he was beginning to look forward to her visits, if only for the break in the monotony.
The visits that he’d begun to really look forward to were the infrequent times that Dr. Yon would stop by, usually whenever she could get a break from her regular shift. She’d talk to him about what she’d heard about his trial (since his representative hadn’t bothered to visit him yet) but she always had small things to tell him about, and it was those seemingly nonessential bits of information that helped him fight the boredom that ate away at him.
While the other attendants at the hospital didn’t seem to give two shits about him, Yon seemed to be genuinely interested in him. After the usual polite topics of conversation had been exhausted, she’d started talking to him of more personal matters; mostly telling him about herself, and asking him different questions. Just like two people getting to know each other under normal circumstances, and after a while Hwoarang had found himself becoming interested in her stories. In her. During the long, lonely days when he was kept entertained by either the ceiling above his head or the backs of his eyelids, she was more than a welcome distraction.
When he was alone, and he felt like the quiet of the hospital was closing in on him, he was acutely aware of another thing that was bothering him… that voice. He woke up with it ringing in his head, but he could never ask it what she meant. That last time he’d been able to catch a glimpse of her in his dream, or maybe he’d just imagined it. It was very similar to his dream with Jun. It probably had something do with her. He’d forgotten about his rival’s mother until just then and he remembered the promise he’d semi-made to her. Well, he couldn’t directly say ‘no’ to a crying woman so his silence had volunteered him for a ‘yes’.
The voice’s incessant commands to get better were grating on his nerves, though. He yawned and looked around his room. The windows were dark with only the pale light of the moon shining in. The lights were off and from where he sat he couldn’t see anybody outside his room in the hallway. He sighed and pushed himself up from the bed. His ribs complained but he ignored them, using his stomach muscles and his arms to lift his weight from the bed until he was sitting upright. Once he’d steadied himself he let out a shaky breath. He’d learned how to deal with pain from Baek, even though he’d had trouble focusing his mind on ignoring it. He breathed deeply, focusing on the pain that spread throughout his ribs as he did so. It almost burned it was so overwhelming. “Ah-!” he ground out, “Goddamnit focus!” he hissed under his breath. Focus. It was so frustrating to be at the mercy of his own body that he smacked his leg. “Fine, you want pain?” he pushed his legs over the edge of the bed and he flexed his muscles to pull him along. Every fibre of his being screamed at the agony but to spite his own body he pushed himself further. How much pain could his body give him if he just pushed? He shifted his weight off the bed until he was standing on his own two legs; swaying, but standing. He relaxed his muscles and felt the pain recede to a more acceptable level. When he just stood there the pain was nothing compared to what he’d felt before. Similar to a man who’d stubbed his toe and was complaining about it. If that man were to then break his arm, he’d forget about the stubbed toe in favour of the greater pain. Hwoarang just had to keep reminding himself that it could be a lot worse.
He drew in a breath and forced his right leg forward, pushing himself to move towards the window. He wobbled uncertainly and leaned back against the bed for support. Focus… he closed his eyes, feeling the ache in his body. It ached from being immobile for so long; his legs were weak. He reached down to massage his thighs, trying to rub some feeling into them. After a few moments they began to feel better. His eyes stayed closed, but he swore he saw a soft light behind his lids. The light was spreading through him and he could feel it filling his core before spreading out along his arms and down into his legs. His hands felt warm… oddly so. He opened his eyes, but the moment he did the light was gone. He looked down at his hands; they felt warm but were only dimly illuminated in the darkened room. ‘Musta been hallucinating…’ he thought, looking over at the IV drip that was still hooked to his arm. He ripped off the tape that held the needle in his vein and pulled it free. Blood beaded from the small hole in his arm, but it wasn’t something he could do anything about.
Taking another deep breath he tried to move away from the bed again. It was easier this time and he took a few steps until he reached the window. Much easier than before. From behind the glass Hwoarang could make out the scenery beyond the hospital. He faced the inner compound of the military hospital on his base. It was closed in meaning harder to escape from. He figured as much, since he’d heard of the court martial he figured they’d be keeping a closer eye on him and in the condition he was in it would be harder to break out.
He absently fingered the lock on the window while his mind wandered. What had happened to land him in the mess he was in? He remembered dying his hair. He’d been meaning to do it for a while, but it had taken longer than usual for his colour to come in. That was two weeks ago. After that there’d been a mission… it was one of the ones he hated. He liked taking on people one-on-one, not sneaking about and murdering them in their sleep. He knew some other guys around who were okay with that, even that bastard Chin thrived on it. Hwoarang started, it had something to do with that Chin. He remembered seeing his face in that briefing room, and then again... vague images filtered through his mind although he couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
He was pulled out of his thoughts by the sound of footsteps walking down the hall. He spun around to see who was at the door, but there was nobody there. They were still a ways off and he shuffled back to the bed, wincing as he climbed back in while paying special attention to his ribs. He set himself up like he was sleeping just as he heard the footsteps stop outside his door and then lightly tiptoe inside. They walked up to his bedside and he kept his eyes closed, keeping his breathing steady and shallow.
“Oh, Hwoarang!” Yon exclaimed. “You’ve pulled your IV out!” She snatched his arm to inspect where the needle had come out.
“Oh, that,” Hwoarang said, sitting up with a smile on his face. “It was bugging me.”
Yon gave him a stern look before a puzzled one crossed her face. “What the…” she reached over to turn on the lamp beside the bed and pulled Hwoarang’s arm under the light.
“Hey!” Hwoarang complained as he was pulled along with his arm. “What’s the problem?”
“That’s weird,” Yon said, turning his arm under the light. “Even if you took this out hours ago there would still be a wound from the needle… or blood at least! I don’t see any hole!”
“Guess I’m a fast healer,” Hwoarang grinned.
“But that’s incredible. First you recover from your attack and now this! You must have the healing factor of a…” she drew back, releasing his arm. “Well, it’s good that you’re healing so fast, but that means that your court martial will be able to happen faster…” she seemed anxious at the idea. “How are your ribs and your head?” she asked, suddenly hovering over him and poking at his injuries.
“Ow, that fucking hurts!” he hissed, covering his ribs but leaving his head exposed.
She poked at the coverings on his nose before peeling them back. “Incredible!”
“You must like saying that. What?”
“Your nose looks like it’s been healed! What about your head and your memories?”
“My head feels fine, and I can kinda remember, but it’s still fuzzy…”
“Maybe you don’t want to remember. I was able to coax some information out of Dr. Lee, since she’s dealing with the Second Lieutenant who is representing you for the case. I don’t think-”
“Wait!” Hwoarang cut her off. “I’ve got a Second Lieutenant when they’ve got a Major ready to bust my balls? Sounds fair!” he frowned. The politics was such a headache to understand, and he hated being caught in the middle of someone’s private agenda. He sat up suddenly, remembering something. "Is the guy’s name Chin?” Hwoarang asked. “The guy who fucked me up. It was Chin, right?”
Yon’s eyes went wide and she nodded mutely. “So you do remember?”
“I was on a mission with him… It was high priority,” the memories came to him easier as he voiced them. He felt Yon’s hand on his arm again and her warmth spread through him. “An assassination, only it was more than that. I know Chin and I butted heads before, but I didn’t think he’d try and take me down while we were on assignment…”
Yon’s grip tightened on his arm as he continued talking. His thoughts spilled free-form from his mouth as he recalled the vague memories of how they’d come to kill the doctor and his supporters. “His supporters…” he trailed off. It could have been the glow of the moon through the window, or Yon’s presence but the events rushed into his conscious and set a terrible feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was worse than guilt that filled him. “Oh, God!” The details, the deal that Baek had made with the Major, everything was coming back to him in sharp detail. “That bastard…”
Yon leaned in close to him, rubbing his arm to try and comfort, but nothing could stop Hwoarang’s blood from boiling with rage. Not when he knew the truth of the matter. “Chin should be the one getting the damn court martial. How the hell am I the bad guy?”
“Hwoarang, listen to me,” Yon said. “He’s in question too, but you’re the one that’s going to get the worse of it. I know what happened and I… look, you’re healing faster than anybody expected. If you fake it you can put off the trial for another week, maybe two if I can work something out with Dr. Lee. So far she’s been able to keep Major Kang at bay…”
“Heh, I think he snuck through her guard. That guy visited me today. His bedside manner sucks! Wait, if Lee is my doctor, then what are you doing hanging around me?”
The question took her aback and she withdrew her hand while a pretty blush rose to her cheeks. “I, uh, I’m not really your doctor, Hwoarang. I just wanted to make sure you were being treated well, and… I’ll do what I can to keep him out. You heal up and then…” her voice trailed off and then looked around the room. She drew closer to Hwoarang until he was sure she would kiss him. “I’ll help you escape,” she breathed, afraid to let the sound of her promise carry beyond their bodies.
Hwoarang looked down at her, utterly confused why she would make a promise like that. It could have been a trap, but why would she? He was already in enough shit as it was and there wasn’t much worse that she could do to him. He nodded mutely. She pulled back and quickly set to re-insert the IV into his arm. “Remember,” she said and then mouthed the words ‘Fake it’ before turning and leaving the room.
Hwoarang could fake the pain with minimal damage to his ego, especially if it would help him avoid getting shit for standing up to Chin. He lay in his hospital bed staring out the window and brooding over what had happened in that mansion with Chin and Soo. He felt his blood boiling at the memories, but each time that happened, his ribs started hurting and his head began to throb. The sky outside brightened and Hwoarang gave up on fantasizing his revenge on Chin; his head hurt too much. Instead he thought about Yon. She was nice, if not overly so. He still didn’t understand why she was going out of her way to help, but figured he’d ask her before he left for good. When he escaped this time, he’d have to find a place to lie low while the military hounds got tired of looking for him before giving up. He’d been caught too easily when he’d gone AWOL and run straight to the King of Iron Fist tournament. He needed to give himself some time between escape, and showing his face anywhere. Baek could handle himself. If he’d managed to work a deal with the Major, then he could work another one and get himself out of the mess he was in. It pained him to leave the man who’d been like a father to him, but at that moment, Hwoarang knew he wouldn’t see the light of day if he stayed.
Hwoarang tried to think of anybody he knew that owed him a favour or two that he’d be able to stay with once he got away. He’d helped Batty take care of some… no, Bats had already returned the favour. Kii, Big Ahn, Song… there were so many, but none of the favours he’d done for them matched up to what he had to ask. He needed someone that could actually hide him out, someone like… Doyon. Hwoarang hadn’t talked to his friend in years, but Doyon’s doorstep was the most appealing destination when he thought about it. The guy had enough money to help him and God knew the guy couldn’t turn him away. Doyon and Hwoarang had been tight when they were younger, and the two of them even fucked up the gang that had been trying to get in on their turf. They’d covered each other’s asses so many times back then, and even though Hwoarang didn’t have a family, Doyon’s had treated him like one of their own. He just hoped good ol’ Doy was still in the same place.
The sky was glowing brighter and Hwoarang could hear the sounds of the hospital waking up. There were more people moving out in the hallway, but thankfully none of them bothered to come see him. It was sometime close to noon when Hwoarang felt the pull of sleep around his eyes and he closed them again. With any luck nobody would bother him and he could just lie there until Yon came back.
~End Chapter Six~
| Index | Chapter Seven |